When it’s time to reflect vs collect
Sometimes in the process of teaching others you have a moment of reflection yourself. Quickly followed by a revelation.
This happened for me whilst hosting the first Advanced Blogging workshop at hero recently.
As bloggers we’re constantly collecting ideas in the form of inspiration. We see new blogging trends bubbling excitedly to the surface and some older, tried and tested ideas being re-hashed again and again.
Sometimes they both work. Sometimes they both disappear without a trace.
We see plenty of bandwagons being jumped on and driven exceedingly well. And some wagons wobble, de-rail… and occasionally crash in spectacular fashion.
That’s the nature of the blogging beast.
One of the hero workshop participants said something very wise about how she observed particular genres of bloggers all doing similar things and working in a particular way, but quite quickly decided that that wasn’t for her.
She was going to stick with her gut feel about what her readers wanted.
I actually had to sit on my hands at that moment to stop myself from jumping up and applauding her for realising this so early on in “the journey”.
And then Laura, my co-host, constant source of inspiration, valued friend and incredible entrepreneurial mind said “Sometimes we try stuff out because its what all the cool kids are doing. But then we realise its not for us, we don’t need to be a cool kid… and so we end up finding our own way”.
Ding! There was me with my very own lightbulb moment right in the midst of a workshop where I was supposed to be generating a few lightbulbs for other people. I hope I still managed to!
Time to get all Carrie
Bradshaw on you…
feel the need to hate to go all SATC on you and pose a Carrie Bradshaw type question here but what if we spent more time reflecting and less time collecting?
Rather than looking at what everyone else is doing and thinking “Ooh I’ll try that! It seems to work for them”, maybe we should first be asking “What IS it that my readers come to my blog for?”
What do they like? What sets me apart and what do they want more of?
After several years of trying out lots of things, (including far too many personal style incarnations), it feels like I’m ready for reflect as opposed to collect.
And you’re talking to one who’s collected a lot. If you delve back (WAY BACK) into the archives or if you’ve been on board since the early days (thank you from the bottom of my heart by the way), you’ll have often seen me in “collect” mode.
Otherwise known as trying out what the cool kids are doing. Because I thought I should be doing it too.
…it’s how we learn what works…
And that’s not a criticism of myself or any other blogger who falls onto this path. We all do it – it’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t.
It was round about this time last summer that I started reflecting more about the direction this blog was heading in and to some extent, life too. A child just about to leave primary school will do that to you!
Without going into too much detail (because I’m saving that for the re-launch post), as well as feeling that the blog was ripe for a facelift, I wanted it to more accurately reflect my life.
Over the years I’ve become a coastal and countryside girl with only the occasional yearning to hop up to London.
So WHY on earth was I dragging a suitcase full of clothes up to Notting Hill, South Kensington and Chelsea for my outfit posts? Because it’s what the cool kids were doing, thats why.
I was clearly a candidate for more of the reflect vs collect theory!
If that sometimes means slowing down, more planning and more time to figure out what I want to blog about as opposed to what I feel I should blog about, then so be it.
Attract More Of Your Tribe
If we reflect more about what makes us tick, what REALLY inflames our passion and then channel it into the blog, surely we’ll attract more of our tribe. And that’s a really good thing.
Blogging has evolved so much in the time that I’ve been “in” it. It’s heartening to see new blogs popping up all the time. It is NOT an over-saturated market.
I think there’s an audience for plenty more voices talking with passion about what inspires them.
Just be sure to reflect on your own personal take first…
It’s freebie download time!
As I start the official count down to #TOSrefresh2017 launch in the next few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I would be or what might I have ended up doing if I hadn’t started blogging.
And every single time I come back to the same conclusion… that I am SO glad I just got started! And then kept going.
In the course of the hero Blogging Workshops I often meet women who are thinking about starting a blog but for whatever reason, still haven’t taken that leap and hit publish.
Just Do It!
At this point I generally start jumping up and down on the spot and shouting “Seriously… Just Do It!” in the manner of a certain sportswear brand ad. There’s no right or wrong way to get started – just your way.
So if that’s you and you’re still thinking about maybe starting a blog or hovering over that Publish button on your first post I’ve created a “Why You Should ABSOLUTELY Start A Blog…And How To” freebie guide!
Sign up here to download yours now!
p.s. If you download this, as an #InspirationInsider, you’ll be getting a first look at the new blog logo and a few of the design elements too!
Image stills by: Lauren Garvey